Archbishop Jason Gordon was at the diocesan retreat house in Blanchisseuse on Friday, June 19 when a drowning occurred at the nearby beach.
According to news reports, Lyndon Clement of Arima was swimming when he got into difficulties and disappeared under the water at Surf’s Beach, Private Facility, Damian Bay #2 Blanchisseuse.
According to the Archbishop, “While on the verandah, I heard some noise from the water and looked out to see what was happening. There were two men who seemed to be treading water far from the shore who were about 20 ft apart drifting westward. One man appeared to be in distress. I left the house and went to the beach where some people organised a boogie board and a tow line to rescue the man. When they brought him onto the beach, I cleared his throat and began to administer CPR.”
Unfortunately, after administering CPR for some time and checking for a pulse, there was no response. “Still kneeling over the body, I prayed for him and his soul and asked God’s mercy upon him.”
While administering CPR he asked those around to contact the Blanchisseuse Health Centre. “The police were the first to arrive. Then the nurse arrived. I gave the police the information I had and returned to the house.”
Archbishop Gordon told Catholic News via email that it is always a tragedy to see someone lose their life. “The sense of helplessness when you cannot reach in time. Yesterday’s [Friday] incident was tragic, it was difficult, but I am OK.”
The Archbishop offered condolences to Clement’s children and family, and later prayed for him at Mass.